God’s Ways are Holy
For perhaps he therefore departed for a season,
that thou shouldest receive him forever.
Read Psalm 93:1-5
It must have been difficult for Philemon to see Onesimus run away from
him. The world witnessed that a slave had run away from a Christian master.
This very fact could easily have led to ridicule and gossip. Philemon
must have been confronted with questions. Had he dealt properly with his
slave? If so, why did his slave run away?
But Paul directed Philemon to consider the providence of God. True, Onesimus’
actions could not be defended, yet in this way God’s truth was revealed:
While Onesimus had thought to do evil, God had turned it into good.
God used this event for Onesimus’ conversion. Through this mysterious
way, Philemon would receive his disobedient slave back again for good, not
as a slavish servant, but as a beloved brother.
The Lord had made everything well. The bond between Philemon and Onesimus
would be much more intimate and strong than ever before. This bond
would now not only be a relationship between a master and his slave, but a
bond between two children of God. Philemon would have his servant back
again—forever! In this life their relationship would still be one of master
and servant, but they were brothers in Christ for eternity.
Realize that the Lord also reigns in difficult situations. He deals justly, even
when devils and ungodly people deal in unrighteous ways. We may say with
the psalmist: Holy, O God are all Thy ways. The Lord rules and reigns, even
when we are not aware of it. You may also have peace and rest when you
trust in God’s providence and care; you may leave everything in God’s hand.
Thought: God directs things for our good, even when we think various
providences are evil.
Psalter 440:5 (based on Psalm 77)
Holy in Thy habitation
Are Thy ways, Lord of creation.
There’s no god, O God, like Thee,
Clothed with strength and majesty.
Thou eternal art and glorious,
All Thy wondrous works victorious:
Let the nations, spread abroad,
Know that Thou alone art God.